USC RB coach Kennedy Pola on leaving Titans: ‘You have to crack some eggs to make an omelet’

New University of Southern California running backs coach Kennedy Pola joined Fox Sports Radio with Petros and Money to talk about leaving the Tennessee Titans after being hired only last February, and the subsequent lawsuit the Titans filed against USC.

To listen to the interview, go to Sports Radio Interviews. Responses have been edited for clarity and brevity.

Kennedy Pola said he had to make a tough decision to leave the Titans for USC.
Kennedy Pola said he had to make a tough decision to leave the Titans for USC.

Did Pola know that the Titans would sue Lane Kiffin and USC?

Pola: I think that is above me. I was just an assistant coach doing my thing. I just finished unpacking my last box, moving in… and it all happened Friday afternoon when I got the phone call. From there, I made the decision that was tough — timing was poor — but sometimes, you have to — what do they say? — crack some eggs to make an omelet.

How would he describe his conversation with Titans coach Jeff Fisher?

Pola: Obviously, he was excited for me about the opportunity to come back and help USC, because, you have got to remember, I am not going back to sweet things. We are on a penalty from the NCAA. As a former player and a USC grad, I want the opportunity to come back there and help build and keep this tradition of USC going, because I am very proud of my university. I am not going to run away from it. I am going to try to come back there and do the best that I can to go through this penalty phase. I believe, with the leadership of our new Athletic Director, Pat Haden, I think we will get the job done.

What is it like to be back at USC?

Pola: It is exciting… I will tell you what, [Jeff Fisher] is an outstanding leader of men. I really enjoyed working with him and for him. I learned a lot.

You said that I have "moved around", but some of those moves were unplanned, it just happened…

I believe in continuous improvement. I have been improving as a coach, as a person, and the opportunity to be an offensive coordinator in one of the premier colleges/universities in the country, and then having Pat Haden there as the leader of the university’s athletic department, I couldn’t pass that up.

What was Pola’s relationship with Lane Kiffin like when they worked together as assistants at UCS, and did they ever think they would be in this position?

Pola: No. He went and took his chance. Lane was there as the tight ends coach and I was the special teams coach in our first year with Coach [Pete] Carroll and we were there through the building blocks of a .500 team in the Vegas Bowl, and then we had a nice run with Coach Carroll and Coach [Norm] Chow, with Coach Kiffin, and [Steve] Sarkisian, and Tim Davis. That was a good group, a very good group.

We all ended up somewhere along and moved on, but to have an opportunity to come back to USC and work for Lane, and then have Coach [Ed] Orgeron there, who was with us the first run, it is just special. It is a special place. USC is a special place and I am just blessed and humbled to get an opportunity to come back and help out.

What can people expect from the running backs group this season?

Pola: I want tough guys, mentally, physically. I want them to understand that it is tough having the burden of being a student-athlete at the University of Southern California. That burden, not just on the field, it is off the field, how they represent themselves, and how they represent this university.

There is nobody bigger than the university now, the University of Southern California. If you do the right things on and off the field it is going to benefit you… It is a special place, and to carry that torch is something that is not a burden — it is a benefit that you can’t even explain. You are going to get smart, you are going to have guys that are explosive, good on and off the field, and that is what I expect from them.

More from SRI
Denver Nuggets coach George Karl talks about possibly returning in October
Tampa Bay Rays pitcher Matt Garza talks about throwing a no-hitter

New University of Southern California running backs coach Kennedy Pola joined Fox Sports Radio with Petros and Money to talk about leaving the Tennessee Titans after being hired only last February, and the subsequent lawsuit the Titans filed against USC.

To listen to the interview, go to Sports Radio Interviews. Responses have been edited for clarity and brevity.

Kennedy Pola said he had to make a tough decision to leave the Titans for USC.
Kennedy Pola said he had to make a tough decision to leave the Titans for USC.

Did Pola know that the Titans would sue Lane Kiffin and USC?

Pola: I think that is above me. I was just an assistant coach doing my thing. I just finished unpacking my last box, moving in… and it all happened Friday afternoon when I got the phone call. From there, I made the decision that was tough — timing was poor — but sometimes, you have to — what do they say? — crack some eggs to make an omelet.

How would he describe his conversation with Titans coach Jeff Fisher?

Pola: Obviously, he was excited for me about the opportunity to come back and help USC, because, you have got to remember, I am not going back to sweet things. We are on a penalty from the NCAA. As a former player and a USC grad, I want the opportunity to come back there and help build and keep this tradition of USC going, because I am very proud of my university. I am not going to run away from it. I am going to try to come back there and do the best that I can to go through this penalty phase. I believe, with the leadership of our new Athletic Director, Pat Haden, I think we will get the job done.

What is it like to be back at USC?

Pola: It is exciting… I will tell you what, [Jeff Fisher] is an outstanding leader of men. I really enjoyed working with him and for him. I learned a lot.

You said that I have "moved around", but some of those moves were unplanned, it just happened…

I believe in continuous improvement. I have been improving as a coach, as a person, and the opportunity to be an offensive coordinator in one of the premier colleges/universities in the country, and then having Pat Haden there as the leader of the university’s athletic department, I couldn’t pass that up.

What was Pola’s relationship with Lane Kiffin like when they worked together as assistants at UCS, and did they ever think they would be in this position?

Pola: No. He went and took his chance. Lane was there as the tight ends coach and I was the special teams coach in our first year with Coach [Pete] Carroll and we were there through the building blocks of a .500 team in the Vegas Bowl, and then we had a nice run with Coach Carroll and Coach [Norm] Chow, with Coach Kiffin, and [Steve] Sarkisian, and Tim Davis. That was a good group, a very good group.

We all ended up somewhere along and moved on, but to have an opportunity to come back to USC and work for Lane, and then have Coach [Ed] Orgeron there, who was with us the first run, it is just special. It is a special place. USC is a special place and I am just blessed and humbled to get an opportunity to come back and help out.

What can people expect from the running backs group this season?

Pola: I want tough guys, mentally, physically. I want them to understand that it is tough having the burden of being a student-athlete at the University of Southern California. That burden, not just on the field, it is off the field, how they represent themselves, and how they represent this university.

There is nobody bigger than the university now, the University of Southern California. If you do the right things on and off the field it is going to benefit you… It is a special place, and to carry that torch is something that is not a burden — it is a benefit that you can’t even explain. You are going to get smart, you are going to have guys that are explosive, good on and off the field, and that is what I expect from them.

More from SRI
Denver Nuggets coach George Karl talks about possibly returning in October
Tampa Bay Rays pitcher Matt Garza talks about throwing a no-hitter

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